26 Oct 2010

Nairobi mayor under arrest in cemetery scandal

1:08 pm on 26 October 2010

The mayor of Nairobi, the capital of Kenya, is under arrest in connection with a corruption scandal.

The BBC reports Geoffrey Majiwa is the highest official to be arrested so far.

Officials are accused of paying $US3.6 million (£2.4 million) of taxpayers' money for the land, which was worth only 10% as much and did not have a title-deed.

The land had been earmarked to replace the Langata cemetery, which is full.

But the rocky land purchased was not even suitable for use as a cemetery.

It is reported that the land on the outskirts of Nairobi was purchased for 283 million Kenyan shillings, when it was worth 24 million shillings.

A parliamentary inquiry has implicated senior government officers, accusing them of over-valuing the land.

So far, only 14 junior officials at Nairobi City Council are facing charges.

Time for the "big fish" - agency

Donors have long criticised Kenya's government for failing to tackle corruption.

Mr Majiwa's arrest came two days after Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission head Patrick Lumumba said that, having dealt with the "small fish", it was now time for the commission to turn its attention to the "big fish".

The KACC said Mr Majiwa would be charged in court on Tuesday.